In 2005, Steve Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.) is a journalist working for the L.A. Times. He is divorced and now works for his ex-wife, Mary (Catherine Keener), an editor. A biking accident lands Lopez in a hospital.One day, he hears a violin being played beautifully. Investigating, he encounters Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a homeless schizophrenic, who continues to bother Lopez until he introduces himself. During the conversation that follows, Lopez learns that Ayers once attended Juilliard. Curious as to how a former student of such a prestigious school ended up on the streets, Lopez contacts Juilliard but learns that no record of Ayers graduating from it exists. Though at first figuring a schizophrenic who's talented with a violin isn't worth his time, Lopez soon realizes that he has no better story to write about. Luckily, he soon learns that Ayers did attend Juilliard, but dropped out after two years.
Based on a true story, Nathaniel Ayers is a homeless schizophrenic who one day meets a Los Angeles journalist named Steve Lopez. Ayers is a gifted violinist and dreams of playing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Lopez tries to help him accomplish this dream while also trying to write the first good story that he has had in a while.
The acting is about as good as it gets right here. Jamie Foxx (Ayers) is given a tough role to play and plays it extremely well as he shows us that he can go from being happy to sad in less than a second and Downey Jr. (Lopez) is fantastic as he acts out his charecter with intelligence and helps create depth to the chemistry that the two leads share.
But the film is all over the place. Being nearly two hours, it is poorly executed and the screenplay is not well put together. The scenes do not flow correctly and the music, which is in almost every scene, lasts excessively long. The story wasn't interesting enough to be as long as the movie was.
The film made me feel bad for these wonderful actors because they are really giving it their all here but the movie doesn't give back. Unfortunately, Foxx and Downey Jr. are the only elements holding this project in place. So, unless you would like to see the right actors in the wrong movie then save your money and don't go see this film.